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Dion Jackson protests against police violence on April 12, 2001, in downtown Cincinnati. Photo: David Maxwell/AFP via Getty Images.

On April 7, 2001, 19-year-old Timothy Thomas — unarmed and wanted for minor misdemeanors like not wearing a seatbelt — was fatally shot while running from police in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why it matters: In the wake of the 2001 riots that followed his killing, Cincinnati overhauled its policing policies, which could prove constructive for cities looking to do the same today.

  • Thomas was the fifth African American killed by Cincinnati police in seven months, CNN reported at the time.
  • Several days of violent protests and civil unrest followed. Five months later, a jury found the white officer not guilty.

The city took several steps:

  1. Adopted a very specific use-of-force policy that banned batons, rubber bullets and chokeholds. Also instituted mandatory training for law enforcement on implicit bias, homelessness, drug abuse and de-escalation.
  2. Increased transparency by forming a fully funded, independent citizen complaint authority that publicly investigated allegations against officers.
  3. Changed policing model by targeting repeat violent offenders over minor crimes.
  4. Automatic body cameras: Newer technology has been implemented to automatically turn on body cams when an officer gets out of the car or pulls a gun or taser.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, who was a member of the city council during the 2001 riots, said these actions have instilled more trust and transparency between the police force and the public — and he said it's also reduced both arrests and serious crimes by 50%.

Protests in the city have been turbulent: A police officer was shot on Saturday, but he was not hurt as the bullet struck his helmet. Over the last several nights, Cranley said the vast majority of agitators arrested by the police have been white.

  • "There are many things that are racially unjust here. We're not perfect. But we do think we have made some real strides," Cranley said. "It's a never-ending, continuous improvement."

Go deeper

Biden calls for charges against officers in Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake shootings

Joe Biden said at an event in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday that the police officers in Jacob Blake's shooting and Breonna Taylor's murder "need to be charged," and called for an investigation into the individual who shot and killed a Trump supporter in Portland last weekend.

Driving the news: Biden was asked about these situations after delivering remarks about how to open school safely in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It comes during a week in which he's been out on the trail countering Trump's attacks about violence and unrest in America.

Jack Dorsey to step down as Twitter CEO

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Jack Dorsey will step down as CEO of Twitter, the company announced Monday. He will be succeeded by CTO Parag Agrawal.

The big picture: Dorsey is also the CEO of financial payments company Square, which he co-founded in 2009, and has become a crypto evangelist in recent years.

Tracking the pandemic's unequal impact

Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult/Axios; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The pandemic was bound to hit the most economically vulnerable among us the hardest. New polling data from Morning Consult, out this morning, shows the degree to which those difficulties were more concentrated among people of color.

Catch up quick: The Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index has tracked the economic experience of adults in three wage groups since May 2020. We began publishing the findings in May of this year, and six months in, we’re slicing the data a little differently — and looking at inequality between ethnicities.